'Crime of extreme depravity', SC confirms death sentence to man
New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed the death sentence given to a man for the cold blooded murder and brutal rape of a seven-and-a-half-year-old mentally and physically challenged girl.
The apex court upheld the Rajasthan High Court's May 29, 2015 order, which sentenced the convict to death.
A three-judge bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar said: "In the case of the present nature, the crime had been of extreme depravity, which shocks the conscience, particularly looking to the target (a seven-and-a-half-year-old mentally and physically challenged girl) and then, looking to the manner of committing murder, where the hapless victim's head was literally smashed, resulting in multiple injuries, including fracture of frontal bone".
The bench added, "In the present case, where all the elements surrounding the offence as also all the elements surrounding the offender cut across the balance sheet of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, we are clearly of the view that there is absolutely no reason to commute the sentence of death to any other sentence of lesser degree".
The bench observed that even the alternative of awarding the sentence of imprisonment for whole of the natural life with no remission does not appear justified in view of the nature of crimes committed by the appellant and looking to his incorrigible conduct. The accused, Manoj Pratap Singh, had moved the apex court challenging the high court judgment.
The top court noted that the accused was found involved in at least four cases with offences ranging from Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, Section 379 IPC and even 307 IPC. "Second, being the fact that the present crime itself was carried out with the aid of a stolen motorcycle. Third, and crucial one being his conduct post-conviction where he not only earned seven days' punishment in jail for quarrelling with a co-inmate but he has been convicted of the offence of murder of another jail inmate," added the bench in its 129-page judgment.
The bench said read as a whole, the fact-sheet concerning the appellant leads only the logical deduction that there is no possibility that he would not relapse again in this crime if given any indulgence. The high court had said the brutal rape and murder mentally and physically challenged girl falls under the category of rarest of rare case, as it confirmed death penalty to the accused.
The top court said: "The sentences awarded to the appellant, including the death sentence for the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, are also confirmed." The accused had kidnapped, brutally raped, and murdered the girl on January 17, 2013.